Random US Open Observations from Thursday…
There are a lot of really good Brazilian surfers here. There are those you know about, like Adriano De Souza and Jadson Andre, who predictably won their heats. Then there's wunderkid Garbiel Medina, who also won his heat. Then there's Miguel Pupo, with his crazy air attack, who also won his heat. Wiggolly Dantas ripped, but didn't make his heat. But my favorite Brazilian surfer of the day was William Cardoso. He didn't make his heat, but the sheer girth of his legs should have earned him a birth into Round 4. Cardoso's thighs make Tom Carroll's look like toothpicks. I'm predicting now a Brazilian will make the finals of this contest. If a Brazza wins, I nominate Cardoso and his giant legs to carry him up the beach.--Casey Koteen
The Unsponsored Hana Conspiracy
Hawaiian Ola Eleogram had one of the best days of competition he's had in a long time, and we are happy for him. He won his Round 3 heat, beating world number one Jordy Smith. While Jordy came in from the top spot in the world, Ola came in from a slightly more modest place. He may be the best unsponsored surfer in the world, and apparently has no prospects, along with fellow Hana ripper Hank Gaskell. "I guess we're just too far out in the bush," said Ola. "I had a streak of bad luck last year in contests. And my manager and I just split, but I'm staying positive." Riding an old, yellow board, Ola looked sharp and on point, going vertical on the mushy lefts. Like most people today, he only went left, but he had a better reason than most. "I have some newer boards, but this one goes really good on lefts. I haven't gone right, if you didn't notice."--Casey Koteen
Something Smells In HB
For those of you that want to come down to the beach and check out the comp, we recommend it. However, if you're going to be "partying," you ought to be very careful. We heard the police were stopping people and sniffing their "Gatorades" and "Cokes." Apparently more than one person with a spiked drink got ticketed. The caricature is that cops have sensitive noses, this seems to confirm that.--Casey Koteen
All right, I get it! All you guys know how to do airs. From Kelly to Kolohe and every Brazilian in between, the airs today were a dime a dozen. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about advancement and progression, but when guys are doing airs on nearly every wave, it cheapens the product. Will someone please man up and do some big boy turns? The judges will love it...and the fans too!--Justin Coté
Hurley gave all their team riders these ultra bright wetsuits for the guys to wear during the event. From a marketing standpoint it make sense (we're talking about it here right?), but from a pure aesthetic view, the suits are a bit, well let's just say they kinda fit in during the US Open circus but you wouldn't be caught dead wearing them at your local beachbreak…--Justin Coté
Sean Penn, he of Fast Times At Ridgemont High fame, was on the scene today doing "research" for an upcoming film about the Paskowitz clan. One of our photogs approached him and his pal and pro surfer Jon Rose about snapping a pick of them but was shot down, Mr. Penn didn't want to open the paparazzi floodgates and considering his past run-ins with the paparazzi we're not keen to get socked by Spicolli.--Justin Coté
US Open of Surfing: Thursday's Heats Of The Day
The round of 96 and round of 48 is in the books. 24 men stand vying for $100K and those oh so important PRIME points. Dane's huge air reverse 9.87, fully tweaked, board vertical, smoooothhh. It is the maneuver and biggest score of the event--for the time being.
Speaking of airs, young wildcard Evan Geiselman loves to do air-reverses. And he loves to stay busy, catching everything that comes his way. He took second in his heat, with reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning leading the way and showing why he's the World Champ. Fanning lost last year in Huntington to Simpo, losing the-at-the-time biggest prize purse in surfing history (until he won the Lowers Pro and took the even bigger prize purse). Mick's nickname should be the surgeon, he uses a scalpel with his slicing turns and lightning speed to dissect the Huntington Hop for top scores.
The other two standouts of Thursday were 2010 ASP World Tour rookies Jadson Andre and Owen Wright. They will be battling for Rookie of the Year and today. Jadson continues his high-flying Brazilian antics with a 9.57 on his first wave, attempting to match Dane's giant air-reverse. And then he threw a giant layback slash--Jadson can do turns! Owen though stomped a giant 360 lien air reverse, screaming, "I am the future!"--Ryan Brower
2010 US Open of Surfing coverage presented by Pacifico Clara Cerveza